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Parekh Group ventured into hospitality with their luxury resort Alila Diwa Goa and now they’re back with another palatable idea, a restaurant chain with Debonairs Pizza.
Diwa Hospitality has signed a license agreement with Famous Brands, a South Africa listed company, to start a chain of quick service and casual dining restaurants. Five outlets will open in Mumbai with the pilot starting in July.
"Entering the Indian market is as much about our partners as it is about the market. They will give us local knowledge advantage which is critical to the sustainability of this venture," said Famous Brands COO Darren Hele.

"Whilst Debonairs Pizza is Africa's biggest pizza brand and the group is confident of exporting the concept, in-depth research has shown that the model must be relevant from day one, and be re-engineered to fit the Indian market," said Hele.

As per the strategy, the brand will be customised with a strong vegetarian bias and innovative product offerings designed to support the cost conscious ‘'grab-and-go' Mumbai consumers. Debonairs Pizza's free home delivery model, for which the brand is famous, will remain intact given that home delivery accounts for a significant portion of the pizza business in India.

With strong factors driving growth in the food industry in India and pizza currently accounting for the biggest share of the QSR market in the country makes it the fastest growing segment. As per the statistics the QSR market is expected to grow from US$15 billion (2011) to US$50 billion in 2020, at a faster rate than even the Chinese market.

According to Diwa Hospitality director Yogesh Parekh, they decided to tie up with the South African restaurant operator as they share optimism for this growth potential in the market.

Debonairs Pizza currently trades out of 345 restaurants in South Africa and a further 60 restaurants in 14 other African countries.